Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Friday, September 7, 2012

Brain Damage and the NFL

FootballA study has recently shown that former NFL Players are more prone "to dying from degenerate brain disease" than the general population. In fact, these numbers have shown that the death rate is three times the normal rate among the general population. These diseases include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Lou Gehrig's Disease. While many might want to claim that the cause of this is the number of repeated head injuries that football players receive, the study cannot prove that this is the case. In fact, this study did not examine the number of deaths that resulted from CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is caused by repeated blows to the head. In addition, the study might be a bit under inclusive because the survey might not include players that have played less than five years. To make the waters even more muddy, some believe that several cases that were part of the survey may have been CTE and was misdiagnosed. The reason that this occurs is because CTE can only truly be diagnosed after that person's death throught a chemical test. 

See Study: Players Prone To Brain Disease, ESPN, Sept. 5, 2012.

Special thanks to David S. Luber(Attorney at law, Florida Probate Attorney Wills and Estates Law Firm) for bringing this article to my attention.


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Great post. The Philadelphia Eagles had a safety name Andre (Muddy) Waters who committed suicide and was known to suffering all the symptoms associated with trauma. He was a wild man on the field and used his helmet as a weapon when he played. He had his brain examined post mortem and the results were as predicted. His post playing days were filled with depression and headaches and physical problems. It would seem that he may be on the extreme, but probably not by that much when you total all the hits these players take from a young age, college, and professional life.
The ultimate problem is that there is just too much money involved to change the end result for most players.

Posted by: Steven J Fromm | Sep 7, 2012 11:28:29 AM

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